Test and Measurement News

December 2013

Flexible Resolution Oscilloscope wins Test Product of the Year Award!

The PicoScope 5000 Series of Flexible Resolution Oscilloscopes has just been voted Test & Measurement Product of the Year by the judges of Electronics Weekly's Elektra Awards. The oscilloscopes were chosen for their usability as well as their performance.

The PicoScope 5000 Series scopes are the only oscilloscopes to provide selectable hardware resolution from 8 to 16 bits in a single device while maintaining low noise and distortion. They achieve this by using a novel digitizer architecture in which multiple high-resolution ADCs are sequenced in a variety of series and parallel combinations.

This great performance, combined with the advanced features of the PicoScope 6 software, means that the PicoScope 5000 Series is the only general-purpose oscilloscope that you need on your workbench.

Sampling rates and performance in the various configurations are as follows:

Resolution Max. sampling rate THD SFDR Noise
8 bits 1 GS/s < −60 dB > 60 dB 120 μV RMS
12 bits 500 MS/s < −70 dB > 60 dB 110 μV RMS
14 bits 125 MS/s < −70 dB > 70 dB 100 μV RMS
16 bits 62.5 MS.s < −70 dB > 70 dB 70 μV RMS

Other specifications:

  • 2 and 4 channel models
  • 60 to 200 MHz bandwidth options
  • Arbitrary waveform generator
  • Up to 512 Msample buffer memory
  • Software resolution enhancement to 20 bits
  • Advanced triggers including pulse width, dropout, window, runt pulse, logic and delayed
  • Math channels
  • Spectrum analyzer
  • Serial decoding of SPI, I²C, I²S, UART/RS-232, CAN, LIN, FlexRay

Full details and specifications of the PicoScope 5000 Series

PicoScopes in EDN Best-in-Test final

Two PicoScope products have reached the final of EDN's Best-in-Test 2014 awards. The PicoScope 5000 Series Flexible Resolution Oscilloscopes (already winners of an Elektra award - see details above) are listed in the Handheld/Portable Test category, while the PicoScope 9300 Series Sampling Oscilloscopes feature in the Signal Integrity/High-Speed section. The new sampling oscilloscopes, with 20 GHz bandwidth and 64 femtosecond timing resolution, can analyze high-speed serial comms, semiconductors and interconnect - see details in next section.

Please vote for your favorite PicoScope by December 31st and help us win a Best-in-Test award!

PicoScope 9300 is a Hot Product of 2013!

EDN magazine has admitted the PicoScope 9300 Series of PC sampling oscilloscopes to its "Hot Products of 2013" list.

EDN's editors were impressed by the scopes' 20 GHz bandwidth, equivalent to a rise time of 17.5 ps, which allows them to analyze high-speed electrical signals such as 10 Gbps Ethernet, 10x Fibre Channel, InfiniBand and PCI Express. Precision sampling circuitry gives these scopes a timing resolution of 64 femtoseconds.

Like all PicoScopes, the 9300 Series scopes are USB-connected, resulting in a compact instrument that takes up much less space than traditional benchtop machines. They also have a LAN port for remote operation.

Details of the PicoScope 9300 Series PC sampling oscilloscopes

$500 prize draw still open

Don't forget that our prize draw and charity donation scheme for product reviewers is still open.

It's easy to publish a review: choose a star rating and type in your comments. For the rest of this year, Pico will donate $1 towards a target of $1000 to Cancer Research UK, a registered charity, for every completed review. In addition, one lucky reviewer will be selected at random for a prize of $500 (or £300 or €350) in Amazon vouchers. The winner will be announced in the first Pico newsletter of 2014.

The donation scheme and prize draw end on 31 December 2013, so don't miss your chance.

Only one review per person. Total charity donation limited to $1000. No cash alternative.

Tech tips

Here are some of the latest tips delivered by our technical support experts. Keep watching our forum for more great ideas.

Dual triggering

Q. Is it possible to trigger on two PicoScope input channels at once?

A. Yes, most PicoScopes can trigger on a combination of two or more inputs using a logical function such as A OR B.

Combining inputs requires the use of advanced triggers. First ensure that the channels you want to trigger on are enabled. In the triggering toolbar, set the trigger mode to Auto. The Advanced Triggers button to the right of the trigger mode control will then change from greyed-out to normal:

Click this button and select the Logic trigger type:

You can now set up the trigger level on each channel and then select a logic function such as OR to combine the channels. This will trigger on an event on any of the selected channels.

Roll mode

Q. How can I make PicoScope use a "roll mode" to continuously update the PC display?

A. PicoScope has a roll mode that it uses when the device is operating in streaming mode. To achieve this you need to do the following:

Switch the device to streaming mode, which happens at 100 ms/div or slower unless you have changed the 'Slow Sampling Transition' setting in Preferences.
Use a Repeat trigger.
Set the trigger level above the maximum signal level (or below the minimum) so that the scope never triggers.

PicoScope will now operate in a roll mode.


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Please visit https://jobs.picotech.com/ to see our current vacancies. We look forward to hearing from you!

Software releases

Our latest software releases are available as free downloads. To check which release you are using, start the software and select Help > About.

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Contact details

UK Headquarters:
Pico Technology, James House, Colmworth Business Park, St. Neots,
Cambridgeshire, PE19 8YP, United Kingdom
Tel.: 01480 396395 (+44 1480 396395)
Fax: 01480 396296 (+44 1480 396296)

North America Office:
Pico Technology, 320 N Glenwood Blvd, Tyler TX 75702, United States
Tel:+1 800 591 2796 (Toll Free)
Fax:+1 620 272 0981

Asia-Pacific Office:
Pico Technology, Room 2252, 22/F, Centro, 568 Hengfeng Road, Zhabei District,
Shanghai 200070, PR China
Tel: +86 21 2226-5152

Email: sales@picotech.com